Gaps in my diet

I don’t watch television or listen to radio as part of my media diet. Once upon a time that would have meant not consuming any content produced for either. There were no alternative release channels for broadcast content.  Today, with the close-to-zero overhead and the low costs of online streaming and downloads, abstaining from broadcast media is increasingly merely a decision against this particular form of distribution.

What made me take this decision is the end of the tyranny of place and time. You needed to be in front of a device with reception at the time the programme was aired. I enjoy the freedom of watching and listening when I want, where I want and on the device I have with me at the time. Air times are now as absurd to me as the notion of a book that you can only read at preset times.

What gets lost is, of course, the social focus that programmes provided. You knew that anybody who was into a certain programme would have watched it at the same time, and thus assume it as the basis for a conversation. Now such basis has to be established on a case-by-case basis. Maybe this is something that social networks are going to ameliorate or fix. I can only speculate – there is no way yet to work around the effects of me not being on Facebook.


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